Good Wednesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• President Trump declared that he was “not happy” about the bipartisan compromise on border security, but said he did not think the government would shut down on Friday. The deal includes just $1.375 billion for new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, much less than in the proposal he rejected in December. Here are five takeaways.
• The agreement would pay for 55 miles of new border fencing, a far cry from the 1,000-mile wall that Mr. Trump wants. Here’s a visual look at what's been built on the border.
• A number of women are running for president, but Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is the only one making feminism the central theme of her candidacy.
• A government audit found that because of the recent shutdown, fewer taxpayer calls to the Internal Revenue Service were answered, wait times grew longer and the processing of 87,000 amended tax returns was delayed. The issue was especially acute since it followed Mr. Trump’s tax overhaul, which left many people with questions about filing their returns.
• Tens of thousands of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were exposed to toxic substances from open-air trash fires, which some believe caused long-term health problems. Members of Congress want to force the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs to deal with the issue.
• The acting defense secretary, Patrick M. Shanahan, arrived in Baghdad for an unannounced visit, amid questions about whether some of the American troops slated for withdrawal from Syria might be sent to Iraq.
• Mr. Trump said he would consider delaying a March 2 deadline for a trade deal with China if negotiations with Beijing went well. He said that if the two countries were close to a deal, he could let the issue “slide for a little while” and not impose higher tariffs on Chinese goods.
• Less than two weeks ago, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia was on the verge of becoming governor. But his upward career trajectory took a sharp turn when two women came forward with sexual assault allegations.
• The House Judiciary Committee hired two high-profile legal critics of Mr. Trump to help lead investigations into the president’s legal and ethical conduct, underscoring the new jeopardy Mr. Trump faces in a House controlled by Democrats.
• Mr. Trump’s State of the Union pledge to end the scourge of H.I.V. was welcomed by AIDS activists, but it contradicted two years of policies and proposals.
• Mark Kelly, the ex-astronaut and gun control activist who is married to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, announced that he would run for John McCain’s old Senate seat in Arizona as a Democrat.
• William P. Barr is heading for confirmation: A procedural vote in the Senate shows that Mr. Barr has enough support to be confirmed as attorney general later this week.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Tammy Tarng and Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.
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